Biography of Squire G. Lane

During the last twenty years the interesting subject of this sketch has been a resident of Fruita, Mesa county, this state, and he has seen all the growth and development of this section from a barren waste to its present advanced state of fruitfulness and prosperity. He was born on January 1, 1831, in Putnam county, New York, and is the son of George and Esther (Drake) Lane, who were also natives of Putnam county. His father was a farmer for a time, but passed the later years of his life in the milling and grain business, moving to Niagara county in his native state when his son Squire was eighteen months old, and settling on a farm there. He died at Rochester at a good old age, as did the mother. There were twelve children in the family, of whom two daughters and four sons are living. Squire was the third born, and was reared on the paternal homestead, receiving a public-school education, which was supplemented with one term at an academy. He remained at home until he was twenty-one, then engaged in the lumber and shingle business, all shingles at that time being made by hand. The seat of his operations was in Orleans county, New York, and he continued them two or three years. At the end of that period he moved to Coldwater, Michigan, and bought a farm near the town. Two years later he sold this and returned to Niagara county, New York, where he was married and settled on the old homestead. After farming this three years he sold it and moved to his native county of Putnam where he again engaged in farming. In 1874 he sold this farm also and came to Colorado. Making Denver his headquarters, he prospected and mined for four years in various places with all the varying successes and reverses characteristic of these alluring but delusive occupations. He had plenty of hard work and experience, but did not lay up much gold as the result of his efforts. In 1883 he moved to Mesa county and took up a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres in Grand valley, about one mile below Fruita. This was prior to the birth of that thriving little town, and he was one of the pioneers in this section, there being but few settlers in it then, and they almost all bachelors, only one woman living between his ranch and Grand Junction. The region was almost wholly devoid of vegetation of value, producing naturally nothing for human food or commerce, and there was not a tree between his ranch and Grand Junction except along the river banks. No irrigation ditches had been constructed, and the natural aridness of the region forbade any attempt at systematic husbandry on a scale of magnitude. In 1885, when the first ditch for irrigation was completed, Fruita was founded. He then sold his ranch and built the second house in that town, and there he has ever since made his home. During the last five years he has been engaged in the lumber business in partnership with Mr. Merriell, under the firm name of Lane & Merriell, and has prospered. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and as such has served two terms as county commissioner, besides filling several minor local offices at various times. He was married in Michigan in 1856 to Miss Ann E. Hayne, a native of New Jersey. They have had four children, George H., deceased; Ernest H., deceased; Winnie A., deceased; and Eva B., who is living and the wife of C.W. Cain, a prominent Mesa county ranchman (see sketch elsewhere). Mr. Lane has been an earnest blue-lodge Mason during nearly fifty years. Having wrought his full day of labor, he is now enjoying the evening of life in peace and comfort, respected by all his neighbors and friends and a host of admiring acquaintances.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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